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The Importance of a Good Pillow and How It Can Change Your Life

Few things beat the feeling of crawling into bed after a long day, and considering that we spend a third of our lives asleep, we need to be comfortable. But comfort should not be the only factor when it comes to picking out a good pillow, because your pillow is more important than you think!

According to Clearwater Chiropractic, pillows “have a considerable impact on your quality of rest and your overall well-being.” While the obvious function of a pillow is to provide more comfort during sleep, it also acts as a support for the sleeper’s neck and upper back, which is its most important role. Support for the head and neck maintains “proper alignment of these areas of the spine,” whereas if you do not get this support, it can result in stiffness and neck and back problems.

With this in mind, selecting the right pillow for you is dependent on several factors, including body size and sleeping position. According to The Joint, many pillows are actually labeled to indicate which sleeping positions they are best for. Side sleepers require pillows that will support their neck and head while keeping the body aligned. The publication also suggests getting a firm pillow to sleep with between your legs to “keep your spine in a neutral position.”

Back sleepers need something that offers neck, head, and shoulder support, and will benefit from something that has "low profile" to keep the spine aligned. Stomach sleeps should try to adopt other sleep positions as this is posture is bad for your neck and spine, and these sleepers need a flat pillow or none at all.

Another factor to consider when choosing a pillow is the fillers. According to the publication, studies have indicated that natural fillers offer less structure and support, while orthopedic pillows filled with polypropylene capsules offer the best support.

To sum up the importance of a pillow, and the effect it has on your sleep, we refer you to the comments physiotherapist Sammy Margo made to The Telegraph. According to Margo, "People underestimate just how much of a difference having the right pillow makes, not only to the quality of their sleep but also to how they feel throughout the day." So, it’s probably time to go pillow shopping!

[Image via Shutterstock.com]

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